Caitlyn Jenner, former reality TV star, Olympic gold medalist, and now a Republican gubernatorial candidate in California, has stated that she supports a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants. The Biden administration's treatment of the migrant influx at the southern border forced her into the race.
Jenner said she decided to challenge California Gov. Gavin Newsom in the all-but-certain recall election after seeing the crisis unfold at the southern border. This is where the Biden administration has been struggling to halt a surge of immigrants from South and Central America, many of whom are children, in an interview with CNN's Dana Bash that will air on "Anderson Cooper 360" at 8 p.m. ET Monday night.
Jenner supports a road to citizenship for the state's 1.75 million undocumented workers, saying that they should be allowed to become citizens.
"I am for legal immigration, okay. What's been happening on the border was honestly one of the reasons I decided to run for governor," Jenner told CNN in an interview.
"I am for legal immigration, okay. What's been happening on the border was honestly one of the reasons I decided to run for governor... I was watching people dying come across the river, kids in cages -- whatever you want to call them," she adds.
"They should have a chance at citizenship?" CNN's Bash asked.
"Absolutely, yeah. They should. I mean, there's a lot of people," she said. "But personally, I have met some of the most wonderful people who are immigrants, who have come to this country, and they are just model citizens. They are just great people, and I would fight for them to be US citizens," Jenner then added.
By running as a Republican in a state where Democrats outnumber Republicans two-to-one, the former Olympian and reality television star faces steep odds. However, her views on immigration in the recent CNN interview are similar to most California Republicans, who are more radical on social issues than the Republican supporters who flocked to Trump's campaign nationwide.
According to a late March poll by the Public Policy Institute of California, 85% of Californians believe undocumented immigrants should be provided a path to citizenship if they meet specific criteria, including 68% of the state's Republicans.
Jenner Seeks to Unseat Newsom, Plans on Path for Undocumented Immigrants
"A lot of bad people are trying to illegally cross our border," she said. "I don't want those people in our country."
Jenner is running for Governor of California up against Gavin Newsom, who is a Democrat.
Even though at least 1.62 million signatures were gathered to support the recall in response to Newsom's pandemic restrictions, the incumbent governor is well-positioned to defeat the initiative, unlike his Democratic predecessor Gray Davis in a 2003 recall in California.
According to The Hill, Jenner chastised Newsom, who faces a recall election earlier this month, alleging that her friends are fleeing the state under his administration, citing the state's high taxes and homeless population examples.
She has recently stated that she does not believe transgender girls can compete on the sports team that corresponds to their gender identity, claiming that it would be unfair.
Jenner is one of eight Republicans seeking to unseat Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom in California's second gubernatorial recall election. Former San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer, 2018 gubernatorial nominee John Cox, and former Congressman Doug Ose are among the other GOP candidates.